"It was a dark and stormy night," goes the novel noir, and boy, was it one like that early last Sunday morning! There was a 70 percent rain chance for the weekend, but no one predicted what was about to happen down here. I personally love a good rainstorm. Around 3 a.m., I was awakened by rain pounding on the window of our bedroom. No big deal, so I turned over and began to drift off with thought of sailing in the Gulf or being in a cave in some dangerous jungle. You have your dreams, and I'll have mine.
All of a sudden, it sounded like glass breaking, so I jumped up and looked outside. It was so dark that I couldn't see a thing. The rain and the strong winds just seemed to stop and everything returned to normal. No big deal!
I woke up to hear Julie's lovely good morning, "John, get your fanny up and look out the front door!"
Like the moment when Santa is rounding the corner with his sleigh, "I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter!"
At the bottom of our stairs was a large bush that I hadn't seen before. The bush was attached to the trunk of a very large and 35-foot tall tree. The good thing was that it only damage a part of our carport. The bad thing was that our two cars broke the fall of the tree. Our Rav4 looked like it was standing on its back legs as the front of the car was raised clear off the ground. The Volvo — that dog-gone old car — was sporting a broken windshield and a bunch of scratches. I will say a fond hail and farewell as they are hauled off to the shops tomorrow, will softly cry as I balance the checkbook, but since the insurance company will pay for a loaner at Hertz, I will rent a Mercedes or a Jaguar convertible which will make me smile. Julie said, "Wipe that smile off your face, Bucko, because you will rent the cheapest car in the lot! We need some groceries, and I have a hair appointment. Got it?"
"One of these days ... to the moon, Alice!"
When we watched the local news Sunday morning, we learned that we were very lucky. There were a number of tornadoes throughout our county and quite a few communities were devastated! Some lost their homes and some lost their lives.
There are few places in the Bible that truly reassure people that good folks will be spared hardship and only the bad will suffer. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, taught, "The rain falls on the just as well as the unjust."
Even though we know that accidents, injury, illness and death are a part of life — and if we live long enough we will share it all — secretly, we would like to believe that we are too nice to get hurt and mean folks will get what they deserve.
I have always believed that God makes us strong through difficulties, hardship and challenges. This is not so we can prove our worthiness to Him, but that we can face any problem and survive with dignity and strength. We live life. We do not and must not avoid life. I remember a saying, "Die happy!" That means to me that I won't have to say, "I wish I would've, could've or if only..." I hope to say, "I made it this far, and the rest is up to God!"
You know what? We'll do just fine!